Feb 26, 2013

Work(Almost)-in-progress: Sew Fearless Mommy Poppins Bag!

Do you follow Jodi Bonjour's blog Sew Fearless? She's a super cute crafty lady with four five kids and a poet for a husband. (Not to be confused with my dear friend Andreae, who also blogs, has four kids and is married to a poet. It must be hard, it seems, to refuse the advances of an amorous poet).

Jodi is also a patternmaker with a small line of cool projects for kids and super useful tutorials on things like adding nursing openings to empire-waisted tops/skirts. (I'm bookmarking that one even though my husband's not a poet and I'm planning on being pregnant anytime soon).

And she also has the best tag line ever: "Over come your fear of needles." Love it.

So of course I'm super excited to be testing her latest pattern, the Mommy Poppins bag, a carpet-bag-style diaper bag.

This is Jodi's bag. To see more version of this bag go to her blog: Sew Fearless

Please nobody tell my husband I'm sewing a diaper bag. He may get nervous and start checking the condoms for holes, a la Rick Moranis in Parenthood.

Ok, so it was a diaphragm. This movie is from 1989. I was 11 then and didn't know the difference.

I think this bag is a great design for a larger, NYC-sized purse or bag you might bring on an all-day outing (every day in New York is an all-day outing, and every woman in NYC is carrying two purses right now. Seriously: Google-streetview any Manhattan address and you will see a woman standing on the corner with two bags on her shoulder. We all need massages, stat!)

Actual Google Street View pic

I'm using fabrics I had on hand, the main outer bag being Marimekko's Lumimarja print (which we had hanging over our bed for years. But I recently changed things up and was waiting to find the right project for this fabric. I love it — plus it was pricey, so I better not mess this up).



The accents will be sewn in the pale brown chambray Gingermakes sent me (she gets a shout-out nearly every post for being so damn generous!). I also have some suede that I hope to use as an accent if my machine will let me. Check out the cool hardware Jodi sent me:



I've never sewn a true purse before. Did you know there are so many things you need to make a handbag? Stabilizers and sheets of plastic, closures, buckles, three kinds of fabric....I ordered up supplies from Hancock Fabrics, hoping to avoid a trip downtown to the Garment District (not because I dislike going there. It's just a big deal for me to get the time to myself to travel all the way there from the Bronx). But already I've discovered other stuff I forgot to get before I can proceed....more interfacing, lining, and I don't want to skip the rivets that Jodi includes in her perfect-looking examples of this bag. I do believe sewing this bag is going to be a major learning experience for me.

Why have I never sewn a purse before? I've been dubious that my sewing machine could handle stitching thick layers of durable fabrics or leathers. Also, I've filed handbags under the "Looks better when professionally done" category — a header that also includes jeans.

How about you, readers? Anyone dabble in handbag construction before or after getting their start in garments? What's keeping you from sewing a handbag?

13 comments:

  1. I've done some clutches with magnet snaps and little zip bags, but not a full-on purse. I do need a new one though, so maybe i should consider it. This pattern looks really cute, good luck!

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  2. I've done 5 diaper bags for various friends and family members over the years. I think that most of the divide between home made and professional lies in the hardware, for bags and jeans and most things. So, I think you are exactly on the right track with making a beautiful bag!

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  3. Is it bad that I am not a poet? I write stuff. Does that count?

    The reason I haven't sewn a handbag is that I haven't yet found the perfect fabric which would of course be corduroy leather.

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    1. You do write stuff, and much of it is very persuasive — just not in the way that I imagine these poets try to get their wives in the sack!

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  4. I will be making my first real purse with hardware and all once I get a few needed supplies for my test of Jodi's Mommy Poppins Bag. I've made bags & pouches but nothing with the hardware of the Mommy Poppins Bag. I want to make it as "professional" looking as possible so will be very careful in constructing this bag

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see yours. I'll be taking it step by step, very slooooowly.

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  5. I have done a fabulous bag making class with Nicole Mallalieu, here in Melbourne, Australia. Check out her website for stockists, with loads of patterns, kits & tutorials. 'YOU SEW GIRL'
    Well worth a look!

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    1. Cool! Thanks for the recommendations.

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  6. I've done a few bags too, the interfacing and inner support structure is what really makes the difference between a bag that look factory made and the happy-hands-at-home look.

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  7. Poets are hot. (Also: nice bag and gorgeous fabric. My sewing machine is buried under piles of junk. Send help.)

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    Replies
    1. Give those kids a couple shovels and start digging!

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  8. I've sewn alot of bags... so many that I'm exhausted thinking of it! I've gotten back to clothes in a big way lately. But it started as a way to get back into sewing/designing after having kids. They were just more manageable to sew in small bursts of time, and its a great way to use up smaller fabric pieces. Love this style of bag- can't wait to see how it turns out :)

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  9. Ooh, I like this bag pattern! I'm totally one of the haggard women that carries two bags... it's so unfortunate!

    I've never made a bag myself... there's something about all the bits/pieces/fastenings that seems like a real pain in the ass to deal with, but I should probably put on my big girl panties and try one out! Also. I would NEVER have married a poet. Pretty sure I would snicker every time he read me something!

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